Packers Hall of Fame: Favre Should Be There Tonight for Holmgren's Induction

Bob FoxContributor IJuly 21, 2012

26 Jan 1997:  Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Holmgren celebrates after Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Packers won the game, 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

There is no question that Brett Favre will be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee when he gets his chance to enter Canton in four years. Favre is one of the best QBs to ever play in the NFL.

In his career, Favre threw 508 TDs (against 336 interceptions) for 71,838 yards. All three of those statistics are NFL records. So is the 297 consecutive games Favre started at QB from 1992-2010.

Favre may have had his best season in 2009 with the Minnesota Vikings, when he threw 33 TDs (compared to seven picks) for 4,202 yards and a career-best 107.2 QB rating.

That was two years after Favre had his best season in a decade under Mike McCarthy, when No. 4 threw 28 TDs and 15 interceptions for 4,155 yards and a QB rating of 95.7, his best mark since 1996, when the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl.

In both 2007 and 2009, Favre got his teams to the NFC Championship Game, only to see his team fall in overtime. In both games, Favre threw a costly interception very late in the game.

In total, Favre has been to five NFC Championship games in his career—four with the Packers (1995, 1996, 1997 and 2007) and once with the Vikings (2009). Favre was 2-3 in those games.

The two wins and the three MVP awards he won (1995-97) happened under a head coach by the name of Mike Holmgren.

Favre became a Hall of Fame QB under Holmgren. Holmgren was tough on Favre as a coach, but he opened Favre's mind about how to play QB in the west coast offense in the NFL.

Holmgren had previously coached a couple of Hall of Famers with the San Francisco 49ers, in Joe Montana and Steve Young.

It took awhile for Favre to become an MVP-type player, but under Holmgren, Favre became the best player in the NFL.

In 1992-93 Favre struggled to learn the nuances of the west coast offense. Favre threw 37 TD passes and 37 picks in those two years. But in 1994, something clicked. Favre became as good as a QB could be in the NFL.

From 1994-98, Favre threw 176 TD passes compared to just 79 interceptions. Favre also became MVP in the NFL for three consecutive years. The Packers went to three straight NFC Championship Games, winning two. They also advanced to two Super Bowls, winning one.

There is no doubt that the glory years for Brett Favre happened when Mike Holmgren was his head coach. That's why it's disappointing that Favre won't be in Green Bay tonight when Holmgren will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame.

Yes, I know, Favre still has hard feelings about the way he was sent out of Green Bay in 2008 by Ted Thompson. It certainly appears that there is no love lost between Favre and Thompson.

But those feelings should be set aside tonight. Favre should be there to help honor his coach—a coach who will be presented by Ron Wolf, the man who traded for Favre in 1992.

Holmgren understands the dynamics involved between Favre and Thompson.

"I don’t know for sure. The only people that can answer that question, honestly, are the principals involved,” Holmgren said Friday during a visit with Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee on Green & Gold Today. “I think every organization at some point … I shouldn’t say every, but there have been a few over the years, and at some point, you have to tell your star player or make a change with a great player who has been a great player for years for you, ‘Now we’re going younger, we’re going to give this younger guy a chance,’ or whatever you say to him.

“Most recently, Indianapolis did it with Peyton Manning. The 49ers did it with Joe Montana when I was there—and who would’ve ever guessed those types of things would happen? You just don’t. So then it’s up to the people involved on how you’re going to do it, and again, I was 3,000 miles away. I don’t know the ins and outs and all the details.”

By inviting Favre, former Packers President Bob Harlan wanted to use the induction ceremony for Holmgren to help mend fences between Favre and the Green Bay organization. But Favre will not attend.

Holmgren hopes that the differences will someday be smoothed over. “I think time has a way of healing most things. And I think time will fix this thing up,” Holmgren said on Green and Gold Today. “Brett sent me really a nice text about tomorrow night, and I appreciated that, but for him, and I kind of understand where he’s coming from a little bit … I know how everyone would like to make this a better situation than it is right now, and it will be. In time, it will be. But right now, I guess it’s a little too close to the time.”

Hopefully that time will come soon, as the Packers will surely retire Favre's jersey at some point in the near future. But tonight would have been the perfect time to thaw the ice between Favre and the Pack.

Bottom line: no one was more responsible for the success Favre had in the NFL than Mike Holmgren. That is why Favre should be in Green Bay tonight.